According to some experts, journaling at specific times can help to make the practice more effective. However, when you research the best time to journal, you’ll find a lot of contradictory advice. Some claim you should always do it in the morning, while others say journaling at night is better.
The truth is there is no set time that works better for everyone. The best time for somebody else might not be the best time for you. Therefore, it is a good idea to compare the benefits of writing in the morning and evening. That way, you can better decide which is right for you.
Pros And Cons of Journaling in The Morning
The most popular time of day recommended for journaling is the morning and you’ve created the perfect place to journal. Doing it as soon as you wake up can deliver a few great benefits. The pros of journaling in the morning include:
- It helps you to set good intentions for the day ahead.
- You can better recall your dreams.
- It can kickstart the brain, making you more focused.
- You’ll find it easier to make progress.
So, writing in the morning is ideal for those who are using the dream journaling technique or those who want to be more proactive during the day. As fewer things are likely to crop up first thing in the morning, it also ensures you stick to your journaling routine.
So, what about the cons of journaling in the morning? Well, events won’t be as fresh in your mind as you’ll be recalling things from the day before. Your mind is also groggier in the morning, so you may not be able to come up with solutions to any problems you are facing.
Pros And Cons of Journaling in The Evening
Journaling in the evening can also deliver some unique benefits. They include:
- You can debrief your day.
- It can help you to destress.
- You may sleep better.
- Creativity often increases in the evening.
When you journal at night, the events of the day are still fresh in your mind. You will be able to analyze them and get them out of your head before bed. This in turn will help you to sleep much better. You may also find it easier to write in your journal in the evenings if you are more of a night owl. This is where your creativity will be highest.
Of course, there are downsides to writing in the evenings too. Some people find they have trouble sleeping if they try and journal before bed. This is because thinking about your problems right before you go to sleep can get them stuck in your mind. It can also cause you to stay up later than you should if you write for longer one day for example.
What should I journal before bed?
Here are 12 bedtime journal prompts to reflect on your day and prepare for tomorrow.
- Write down one word to describe your day…
- Emotions I felt today include…
- My biggest challenge of today was…
- I’m proud of the way I…
- Something that bothered me today was…
- 3 beautiful moments that stand out to me from today are…
- Today I am grateful for…
- Today taught me that…
- Something I’d like to achieve tomorrow is…
- Challenges that I have coming up tomorrow/this week include…
- What do you want to take from today into tomorrow?
- What’s your word for tomorrow? What would you like it to bring you?
Source: 12 Bedtime Journal Prompts
Morning is the optimal time of day for stream-of-consciousness daily practice. Your morning brain is fresh. Create a morning game plan and write your pages before you fill your head with any outside influences. Otherwise, it is better to write any time during the day when you have some time, and you can have a relaxed and quiet place to sit and write.
Yet, when trying to determine which time is better to journal, consider the pros and cons of each option. You should also think about your own lifestyle and where journaling can best slot into it. The right time for somebody else may not be the best time for you.
Lastly, although the best time to start journaling would have been years ago, the second-best time would be right now. So, if you want to get a chain going, start today.
Good luck and happy journaling!